Not many fashion shows elicit as much hysteria as Kanye West’s. Before his Yeezy Season 2 show today had even started, queues at cinemas that were streaming it around the US and UK were reaching around the block, while those inside Periscoped the action. The shoes that were supposedly to be worn by models were “leaked” online, and a clip that appeared to show a rehearsal was hit Twitter, purporting to contain a snippet of an unreleased track.
The show (unsurprisingly, if you’re familiar with fashion week) began late, causing people watching on Periscope to quoting the “Why you always lyin’” meme. That might have been down to the celebrities in the front row – which included Drake, Lorde, Debbie Harry, and Courtney Love – while Tyga, Kendall and Jaden were sitting in the second. But when things got underway, it was clear it wasn’t just your average runway – like last season, West collaborated once more with performance artist Vanessa Beecroft, who helped orchestrate the occasion.
Under four strips of white lights, models were directed across the stage like an army squadron by a drill sergeant, being asked to march in neat lines before filing out. The first group wore light beige outfits, the second pale green, before looks turned to khaki and brown and finally a dark shade of black – choices that seemed to mirror the shades of the models’ skintones. The clothes were utilitarian and seemingly army-inspired (and prompted a fair few comparisons to the forest scenes in Return of the Jedi). Instagram It-boys Luka Sabbat and Ian Connor (casually smoking a cigarette), and rising star Michael Lockley were all amongst the ranks, along with Bella Hadid and Kylie Jenner.
At the end of the show, the entire cast filled the stage while a track – believed to be a new, unreleased song by the artist – blasted across the speakers (last season, the musician dropped a track with Sia at the presentation). Finally, West himself appeared, walking to the front to take his bow.
On the Dazed Periscope stream live from the front row, people were busy discussing the merits of fashion’s relationship with art, as well as the way that West seamed to use models of different skin colours to tell his story (and begging that we film Kim Kardashian).
But West’s return to fashion week wasn’t welcomed by everyone – some designers spoke up after he apparently stole their spot on the schedule. According to Racked (via a dubious source at The Mirror), the show’s models – a streetcast group – had to sign a $10m non disclosure agreement promising not to give away the details.